Mike Edgerton > Orientation #108


  • An idea to build a prototype of a mouth controller for voice performance
  • Important to quickly and fluidly insert and remove from oral cavity
  • The controller would somehow track movement of upper oral cavity articulators during vowel, approximate, fricative and stop conditions


  • Articulation inside mouth through pressure sensors
  • External visualization (ie. X-ray microbeam) using oral cavity pellets or other such methods
  • Muscle activation
  • Others?

Daniel Schorno  (composer/artistic advisor @ STEIM) and I had numerous discussions and a mini-exploratory/research

session to try to build a simple prototype of a teethguard & softpot pressure sensor.

The sensor we used can be found here: http://www.spectrasymbol.com/

Softpot and mouthguard                                                                                                                 mouthguard

Mouthguard                                                                                                 mouthguard

Quick paper mould of upper palate                                                   softpot and arduino

But, not very successful – when the strip was bent to fit within the curve of the mouthpiece it seems that the nodes were

compressed and threw off the scaling so much that it would not record stabile responses to touch.

Below I found some relevant video links regarding articulation, including the silent EMG speech recognition prototype

developed by an outfit called InterACT.

Video links:

Relevant Voice Science Links:

Silent Speech, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP7d4nN4qsM

  • Article from BBC’s “Click” about the use of electromyography to capture silently articulated speech. This is then converted to text, which can subsequently be fed into a speech synthesiser. The possible applications include restoring speech to individuals who are unable to produce any voice – such as laryngectomy patients.

Silent Speech Translation by interact, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMPNjMVlr8A

  • This prototype demonstrates the electromyographic (EMG) silent speech recognition research in InterACT. The EMG research focuses on making use of the EMG signal generated by the articulatory muscles to recognize silent speech. The demo person will speak in silent Mandarin speech and the system translates it to English or Spanish.

InterACT Technology reported by CNN, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZCecsdlM7Q

  • InterACT center of Carnegie Mellon University reported by CNN

Virtual articulator ENGLISH, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQDIxI5dQgA

  • Demonstration of the Virtual articulator. The feature of the Ceramill Mind software simulates the mandibular excursions and automatically constructs a full anatomical framework proposal, according to the dynamic occlusion, therefore reducingt the necessity to grind the surfaces after milling.

Simplified dental impressions, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z82Gd55D7vs

  • Drs. Marc Gottlieb and Pat Roetzer demonstrate how to use clear disposable dental impression trays with the Dam it post dam membrane and 5th. Hand lip and Cheek retractor to take perfect impressions. This technique is used for orthodontic impressions, study models, night guards and bleaching trays.

Ken Stevens x-ray film, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcNMCB-Gsn8

  • X-ray film of speech organs in action. Recorded in 1962. “Why did Ken set the soggy net on top of his deck? I have put blood on her two clean yellow shoes.”

TRUBY, H.M. X-ray Film, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xG5tdV2gdo

  • An x-ray film of the speech organs during articulation of consonant clusters. Recorded in 1958. Further information: TRUBY, H.M. (1959), “Acoustic-cineradiographic analysis considerations with special reference to certain consonantal complexes”, Acta Radiol. Suppl. 182, 1-227.

Biomechanical Speech Synthesis, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIMqxRRvVOw

The proposed mouth controller is designed for use by performers – here are two excerpts of performances I gave while in Holland (Studio Loos in The Hague & Karnatic Lab @ Badcuyp in Amsterdam)

Edgerton Performance:

Feb 4. Studio Loos (Den Haag). Johan van Kreij & Mike Edgertonhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfqS_6qrK30

Feb 8 in Amsterdam. Romain Mercier & Mike Edgerton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ywTZ1T87zA

Other documentation regarding articulation:

tongue position of cardinal vowels                                                x-rays of cardinal vowels

human vocal tract                                                                              human vocal tract from front

simplified dental impression                                                     points on the upper palate

approximate pellet locations from the x-ray microbeam project             means and standard deviations for pellet placement

International Phonetic Alphabet

Upper and Lower palates from Edgerton model of Articulation

A few references:

Ackermann, H., Hertrich, I., Daum, I., Scharf, G., & Spieker, S. (1997). Kinematic analysis of articulatory movements in central motor disorders. Movement Disorders, 6, 1019–1027.


Clayton, C.J. (1992) An intra-oral access device.  Journal of Medical Engineering Technology.  Sep-Oct, 16 (5) 204-209.

Edgerton, M. E. (1999). Palatal Sound: A Comprehensive Model of Vocal Tract Articulation. Organized Sound, 4:2 (1999) 93-110.


Forrest, K., & Weismer, G. (1995). Dynamic aspects of lower lip movement in Parkinsonian and neurologically normal geriatric speakers’ production of stress. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 38, 260–272.

Forrest, K.,Weismer, G., & Turner, G. S. (1989). Kinematic, acoustic, and perceptual analyses of connected speech produced by Parkinsonian and normal geriatric adults. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 85, 2608–2622.

Gracco, V. L., & Löfqvist, A. (1994). Speech motor organization and control: Evidence from lip, jaw, and laryngeal interactions. Journal of Neuroscience, 14, 6585–6597.

Hausdorff, J. M., Lertratanakul, A., Cudkowicz, M. E., Peterson, A. L., Kaliton, D., & Goldberger, A. L. (2000). Dynamic markers of altered gait rhythm in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Applied Physiology, 88, 2045–2053.

Hertrich, I., & Ackermann, H. (1999). Temporal and spectral aspects of coarticulation in ataxic dysarthria: An acoustic analysis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 42, 367–381.

Hirose, H., Kiritani, S., & Sawashima, M. (1982a). Velocity of articulatory movements in normal and dysarthric subjects. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 34, 210–215.

Kent, R. D., Netsell, R., & Bauer, L. L. (1975). Cineradiographic assessment of articulatory mobility in the dysarthrias. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 40, 467–480.

Kent, R. D., Weismer, G., Kent, J. F., & Rosenbek, J. C. (1989). Toward phonetic intelligibility testing in dysarthria. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 54, 482–499.

Saltzman, E. L., & Munhall, K. G. (1989). A dynamical approach to gestural patterning in speech production. Ecological Psychology, 1, 333–382.

Liss, J.M. et al. Quantifying Speech Rhythm Abnormalities in the Dysarthrias. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research • Vol. 52 • 1334–1352 • October 2009

McAuliffe, MJ. Emily Lin, Michael P. Robb, Bruce E. Murdoch (2008). Influence of a Standard Electropalatography Artificial Palate Upon Articulation A Preliminary Study. Folia Phoniatr Logop, 60:45-53.

Tatham, M. (1995) Dynamic articulatory phonology and the supervision of speech production. In K. Elenius (ed.) Proceedings of ICPhS 95, 58-61. Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology

Weismer, G. (1991). Assessment of articulatory timing. In J. A. Cooper ( Ed.), Assessment of speech and voice production: Research and clinical applications (NIDCD Monograph Vol. I, pp. 84–95). Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health.

Weismer, G. (1997). Motor speech disorders. In W. J. Hardcastle & J. Laver ( Eds.), The handbook of phonetic sciences ( pp. 191–219). Cambridge, England: Blackwell.

Weismer, G., Yunusova, Y., & Westbury, J. R. (2003). Interarticulator coordination in dysarthria: An X-ray microbeam study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 1247–1261.

Westbury, J. R. (1994). X-ray microbeam speech production database user’s handbook. Madison, WI: Waisman Center.

Westbury, J. R., & Dembowski, J. (1993). Articulatory kinematics of normal diadochokinetic performance. Annual Bulletin of Research Institute of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, 27, 13–36.

Westbury, J. R., Lindstrom, M. J., & McClean, M. D. (2002). Tongues and lips without jaws: A comparison of methods for decoupling speech movements. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45, 651–662.

Wrench, A. (2007). Advances in EPG palate design.  Advances in Speech-Language Pathology (Special Edition on EPG), 9(1), 3-12.

Yana Yunusova, Gary Weismer, John R. Westbury, and Mary J. Lindstrom. Articulatory Movements During Vowels in Speakers With Dysarthria and Healthy Controls. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2008;51;596-611

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